The Rewards of Olive Harvest
Blog Post By Linzi Gay
In Napa Valley, grapes take center stage. But take a drive through the backcountry roads of the area and you will find many olive trees lining the vineyards or standing alone in their own orchards. After the grape harvest, olives take center stage.
At Clif Family, we have been harvesting olives from our farm longer than we have been harvesting grapes. When Gary and Kit first moved to the Napa Valley, they would gather their friends and family and spend a chilly weekend in November harvesting the olives from the 100-year-old Mission variety olive trees on their property. They would then hand mill them and bottle them to give as gifts to all those who participated. It takes a lot of olives to make a little bit of olive oil so the reward is like liquid gold.
As our Olive Orchard and farm has grown over time, it’s no longer practical for us to do everything ourselves. We now take the olives off-site to mill and bottle. But our team still bundles up in early November, harvest tools in hand to pick the olives ourselves. Our entire team now joins Gary and Kit for this annual event.
The result of months of tending to the trees, farming them organically, carefully harvesting them and sending them to a quality miller result in a beautiful bottle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Chef John McConnell uses the oil to finish many of the popular dishes served on our Bruschetteria Food Truck. And you can find it available for sale in our Tasting Room and Online Store.
We captured the 2020 harvest on video and Farm Manager Tessa Henry shares how mindful farming is rewarded with a delicious product.